Feb 23rd, 2016

Sony has confirmed that the Sony Xperia X will launch in the United States. While no further details were given, we can assume from past launches that the devices will be sold unlocked as Sony hasn’t had the same carrier pull as companies like HTC, Samsung, LG and Motorola. That could change, of course, but you shouldn’t hold your breath.

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The Xperia X is the mid-tier device in the trio of devices, with the XA being the affordable option and the X Performance holding things down on the high-end. Sony’s US website shows the Xperia X and the Xperia X Performance, but not the XA, so that particular variant may not be headed to the US. That’s not too surprising, of course, as the Premium variant of the Sony Xperia Z5 didn’t launch in the country.

There could be some sad news for Xperia Z fans, though — the Xperia X line might be replacing it. That much was said on Sony Germany’s Facebook page, though the rough Google translation could be skewing their exact meaning:

Hello Sarah, a Z6 will not exist. The new X series is under a modified concept that meets the needs of our users even more accessible. You can of course still you to the latest technology in our smartphones leave – which has nothing to do with the name. Best regards, your Sony team.

That quote says it all. Folks are holding out hope that Sony means the Xperia X line will augment the Xperia Z line, but we’ll have to wait for more clarification from the company before we can fall in love with that idea.

This would come off as a shocker considering the Xperia X’s Snapdragon 600-series chipset doesn’t hold a candle to the baseline Xperia Z5, but perhaps we should think about it differently. The Xperia Performance is still a top-notch device in its own light (check out our first look at the lineup), and perhaps it’s the device Sony will push as their flagship standard. If priced similarly to the baseline Xperia Z5 then it certainly deserves to be called a flagship.

Sony Xperia X DSC01662

It makes a lot of sense for Sony, too. Instead of pushing out three devices of similar quality, they are attacking 3 different market segments at the same time. This lowers their cost on R&D, increases volume, and helps them focus their marketing efforts. The company hinted toward such a move last year when they mentioned the need to streamline their portfolio.

Welp, consider them streamlined. For a company which desperately needs to start making some money on a losing business it’s not a bad idea, and it’s better to make some sort of transition than to find the mobile division completely defunct due to continued failures.

So even if it’s true that the Xperia X line is replacing the Xperia Z family, we’d argue there’s not much to worry about. You’ll still have a high-end Sony device to buy. You just won’t have 3 at the same time. We’ll update you folks when or if we learn more from Sony.